Audiovestibular Phenotypes and Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging Features of Cochlin Gene Mutation Carriers

Giorgio Conte, Francesco Lo Russo, Luca Caschera, Diego Zanetti, Pierangela Castorina, Clara Sina, Fabio Triulzi, Federica Di Berardino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe clinical and imaging findings in a group of patients affected by nonsyndromic deafness A9 (DFNA9), using advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with 3-dimensional (3D) fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) sequence. Method: A retrospective case review was conducted in a tertiary referral center in Italy. Four sequential adult DFNA9-affected patients, who had undergone MRI at our Department between January 2017 and June 2018, were enrolled (male = 2, female = 2; median age: 65.6 years; 8 diseased ears analyzed). Three patients were relatives; the fourth was unrelated. The main outcome measures - age, sex, records of audiological and vestibular testing, genetic assessment, MRI findings - were analyzed. Results: All subjects suffered from bilateral progressive sensorineural hearing loss, more severely at the high frequencies and with a typical clinical pattern of bilateral chronic degenerative cochleovestibular deficit. Aural fullness was reported at the onset of the disease. All patients revealed a pathogenic heterozygous mutation in the Limulus factor C, Coch-5b2 and Lgl1 domain of cochlin. None of the patients showed a significant vestibular and cochlear endolymphatic hydrops at MRI, while high bilateral contrast enhancement on 4-h delayed postcontrast 3D FLAIR sequence was observed in all ears. Conclusions: Increased perilymph enhancement on 4-h delayed postcontrast 3D FLAIR sequence is the common imaging feature of DFNA9 ears, suggesting that blood-labyrinthine barrier breakdown may play the main role in the pathophysiology of this disease. Significant hydrops has been excluded by MRI. This finding might be clinically useful in differentiating DFNA9 disease from other pathologies with similar clinical findings like Ménière's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-173
JournalAudiology and Neurotology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Cochlin protein
  • Deafness
  • Inner ear
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Speech and Hearing


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